Is it safe to use hair dye during pregnancy? Should other hair treatments be avoided in the first trimester or later in pregnancy? Hair dyes and other hair treatments are used frequently and many women wish to continue treating their hair while they are pregnant.
However, many types of hair dyes contain dangerous chemicals, as do other hair treatments like straighteners and bleaches. These chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and enter the mother’s circulation. Once in the mother’s blood, the chemicals from hair dyes may cross the placenta and enter the bloodstream of your developing foetus.
While further research is needed to determine whether these chemicals harm developing babies, until they are proven to be safe, it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you’re pregnant, you’re probably wanting to know exactly what the risks are and how they occur, as well as what you should do to ensure you minimise the risks of using hair dye while you’re pregnant.
Learn more about hair dyes and hair treatments. See What is a hair dye?
To find out more about hair dye and pregnancy see Hair dye in pregnancy
Using hair treatments like bleach, straighteners and some head lice treatments in pregnancy can be dangerous. Pregnant women can minimise the risk by avoiding products containing formaldehyde. They should also take steps to minimise skin contact with other hair treatments.
To learn about the safe use of hair treatments in pregnancy see Hair treatments during pregnancy
To find out how to protect yourself and your developing baby see Dying my hair in pregnancy: How to minimise the risk of harm
You need to take measures to protect yourself and your baby if using hair dyes or treatments while pregnant or breastfeeding. Make sure you can tick off all the points on our checklist to keep you and your little on as safe as possible.
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Kindly written and reviewed by Dr Allison Johns BSc (Hons) MBBS, Doctor, King Edward Memorial Hospital and Editorial Advisory Board Member of Parenthub and Virtual Medical Centre.